Perhaps we have come to that moment in our time together. Perhaps it is time to put away the map and trust our instincts. Things got weird on Saturday, and i don’t expect that to change much this season. It doesn’t matter if Notre Dame wins out or loses the rest of their games... I’ve gone weird from witnessing it all.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish lost a game against the N.C. State Wolfpack in conditions that would make the most hardcore fan of quidditch cringe. It’s going to be that type of year. Hold on tight and use your magic. Maybe a mild memory spell will bring you solace. We learned things that should otherwise be forbidden.
“We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.” -Sirius Black
Brian Kelly has been cast as a villain after this loss to the Wolfpack. His stubbornness to continue with a gameplan that would be better suited in a dome (or even a calm 35 degree day), has set many Irish fans in a rage- myself included. It’s an old tale, and one we have seen at Notre Dame before. Brian Kelly thinks he is the smartest guy in the room. The trouble is, the room is full of blood-thirsty gladiators that pays no mind to the nuances of Kelly.
It’s a shame. I have always defended Brian Kelly and championed him to be what Notre Dame needs. I was able to set aside some failings he has as the head coach of Notre Dame, but instead of Kelly changing his ways (even slightly), he has walked down a dark path that has every appearance of narcissism and arrogance. He chooses to act on that part of him and in doing so, he becomes a liability of the team.
“What’s coming will come, and we’ll meet it when it does.” -Rubeus Hagrid
Notre Dame still has six games left. That’s half a season. While I am pessimistic on how that may all turn out- it will still turn out. DeShone Kizer will no doubt throw for a ton of yards, the defense will put up a better fight, and the results of those may lead to losses and they may lead to wins.
There is no stopping this season. The only thing that we can do is meet the season as it comes and the manner in which we do that will say a lot about who you are as a fan of Notre Dame football. Will you jeer every move and tactic by Brian Kelly? Will you scoff at one win or another? Will you blindly declare your love for Brian Kelly? Will you start arguments with detractors and still claim Notre Dame to be one of the kings of college football?
If you plan on doing any of the above, you should seriously rethink your purpose on this earth. There is another quote that I am very fond of from “A Lion In Winter” and it goes: "As if it matters how a man falls down. When the fall is all that's left it matters very much."
Six games left. Rise or fall, let’s be civil.
“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”- Albus Dumbledore
Perhaps the prevailing theme in all of this is that we recognize that the season is indeed in the middle of some dark times. Not since 2007 has the Notre Dame fanbase felt such outrage towards a season. The thing is... we have this long eight month wait between seasons each year, and by the time the wait is over, we are foaming at the mouth for college football.
While it may seem absurd to ask any of you to “enjoy” the rest of the season, I don’t think it is outside the realm of reason. Notre Dame isn’t going to do a lot of things that we all wish they would such as; make the playoffs, win a title, go to a major bowl and win the damn thing, bring home the Heisman, or even finish in the top 15. This is a rough season, and yet there are many things to watch and perhaps there are a few of those things that could get you excited for the future. Almost every starter on offense could return next year, and around eight could be back on defense. Anything over 15 starters returning is a pretty good number and the Irish look to top that in 2017.
It’s fairly weak- I know. But what else do we have? Whether Brian Kelly is back or not (and I’m not ready to predict that despite any feelings I may have), Notre Dame should be a better team in 2017. Perhaps it turns out a bit like the 2015 season or some of what Washington is doing now. What they do with it...
Editor’s Note: I realize this article didn’t really have 3 things that we could take away from the game. I changed my gameplan because of a hurricane. Some people should try that tactic.